Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Some more photos from the training

Former Star TV reporter Sakina Faru is planning her PhD thesis on the media
coverage of informal urban settlements in Mwanza.

Getrude John has had a hectic week also teaching basic journalism courses to
diploma level students during the training days.

Blogging guys from SAUT journalism department. Joseph Mtatiro, Frank Katabi and
Harrison Kisaka in class this morning.

Sister Harriet Nalukwago making her online investigation about the decline of the
Nile perch in Lake Victoria.

Journalism lecturer Pascal Shao teaches media history, environmental journalism
and internet communication.

Catherine Kemikimba writing her investigative assignment on the challenges to
press freedom in Tanzania today.

Training facilitator and MISA Tanzania information officer Gasirigwa Sengiyumva
taking picture of the class.

Ridhwan Msisiri has produced this week a beautiful blog with photos of his sweet
daughters. See KMT Sisters blog right here.

Public relations lecturer Aneth Nkeni using her laptop to write her assignment on
the decline of the Nile perch.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Earth was moving when training ended

The training ended well yesterday with final research and writing assignments, handing of out certificates, and final speeches by Sister Harriet and Dr Anne Gongwe, dean of the faculty of social sciences and communication.

The afternoon was also dramatic as we could feel the building trembling and see the windows shaking due to an earthquake, which had its epicentre in Bukoba, on the western shores of Lake Victoria. Here in Mwanza, when the earth started moving, some of the participants just ran out of the building, four floors down, fearing that the whole building might collapse. Last night’s news tell that in Bukoba thirteen lives were lost and 200 people got injured.

Before that, at our internet training, the participants managed to publish some very good stories about their last assignment topics. For the decline of the Nile perch in Lake Victoria, see at least the stories by Pascal Shao, Abishagi Bhoke Christopher, Getrude John and Neema Rugemalira. Links should also be found to their original sources. For the press freedom in Tanzania, see the stories by Leopold Katubayemwo, Catherine Kemikimba and Harrison Kibaka.

Some of the participants have also posted some nice feedback from the training and on what they have gained for their own careers and for their students. Here are links to the final feedbacks of Abishagi, Neema, Pascal, Aneth, Nuru, Joanita and Leopold.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

How to avoid plagiarism

Plagiarism was discussed today after the assignment on producing stories based on investigations through the internet.

The website Plagiarism.org lists the following examples as plagiarism:
Turning in someone else’s work as your own

Copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit

Failing to put a quotation in quotation marks

Changing words but copying the sentence structure without giving credit

Copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not
For most journalists, editors and lecturers in class, the previous examples sound too familiar.

Then how can you avoid plagiarizing? In most cases by citing sources. By simply explaining that a part of the material has been borrowed, and providing your audience the information necessary to find the original source. That’s usually enough to prevent plagiarism.

Plagiarism has never been as easy as it is today. Before the internet, potential plagiarists would have had to go to the library and copy texts from books by hand. But the internet now makes it easy to find thousands of relevant sources in seconds, and in a few minutes one could find, copy and paste together an entire seminar paper, or a feature story.

But there’s no point in copy-pasting. You just make a much better story by writing in your own style and words. An editor or a teacher should also easily recognize passages that are directly copied, from the vocabulary used.

Journalists in any country caught plagiarizing can get sacked. If you are copying someone else’s story for an article published in your own name, you might also get sued for copyright infringement and be forced to pay heavy compensation. The same goes for publishing a photo without the permission of the copyright owner. In most of the world, the length of the copyright is usually 50 or 70 years after the death of the author. In Tanzania, 50 years.

The recommendation was that all participants would take their time and read the Tanzanian Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act from 1999, found here as a PDF file on a UNESCO web portal where they have collected the copyright laws from most countries.

Here’s another link to a good BBC story about plagiarism, how easy it is, and how easily it can be detected.

Photos from this morning

Abishagi Bhoke Christopher teaches writing for electronic media and is lecturer
also at Archbishop Mihayo University College of Tabora.

Head of journalism department Leopold Katubayemwo working on his assignment
on the challenges to press freedom in Tanzania.

Frank Katabi teaches public relations at SAUT. He has this week created a blog
called PR SAUT: The world of public relations.

Neema Rugemalira is a former reporter of The Guardian newspaper. At SAUT,
she teaches feature writing and news magazine publication.

Nuru Chao has this week opened a pilot website for the department of journalism
and mass communication.

Janet Mushi teaches news writing and editing for print journalism and is planning
her PhD on gender issues.

Harrison Kisaka teaches photo journalism at SAUT. He has this week also created
a blog called SAUT - Photojournalism.

Joanita Rwezahula is a lecturer on radio broadcasting. She also runs an own
catering company.

Research assignments for Saturday

Nile perch in Lake Victoria

Describe the reasons for the decline of the Nile perch in Lake Victoria. What have been the consequences to local people and industries?

Search for facts and figures and background information from Tanzanian and international online resources. Write a feature story, provide links, and publish.

Press freedom in Tanzania

Write a story to an international audience about the challenges to press freedom in Tanzania today.

You can take into consideration the existence of any kind of censorship of the media, threats, attacks or banning of the media, access to information, lack of resources or skills, media ownership, and the salaries of journalists.

Read and refer to articles and other resources found online. Also provide links.

Final deadline for posted texts is by lunch time.

Photos from the training

This is how it looks like from the window of our class. Lake Victoria can be
seen behind the rocky hills.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Think first, and other tips for fact-finding

Here’s some useful tips when searching for information from the web.
Think first, before going to the web.

What do you search for and where might you find it? Are you searching for simple facts, backgrounds or any other information that can develop your story? Should you google, or can you find the information on a specific website you already know? Do you find it from the internet, or better somewhere else?

Always monitor other news sites, both local and international, and also other web resources.

Choose right search words.

Try different Google search options – sometimes web, sometimes news, sometimes “all web”, sometimes only Tanzanian pages, or only Swahili language pages. You can also narrow your search by date, for last year, last month, last week or the last 24 hours only.

Open pages in a new tab. While the new pages are opening, you can continue reading the original page.

Add to favourites, or bookmarks. Also open new files for your favourites, or bookmarks. Then you will easier find the stories when you want to come back to them.

Follow the links in the stories you read.

Go to original sources.

Don’t always read everything, but scan for what is of your interest.

Don’t ever copy-paste! That’s

Print if necessary. Read as homework, underline.

Also make notes to your notebook and save drafts to a USB flash.
Here’s some more tips before you start writing the story.
Structure your story in your mind and on paper.

Decide what is relevant for your narrative.

Write simple with own words.

Quote when necessary.

Understand what you write (you are there to make things understandable for your audience).

Add details for human interest.
When you’re about to publish:
Provide links to original sources (if you publish online).

Always also think about headline, visual outlook, quotes, images, graphics etc.
Some general good advice for producing good investigative stories:
Spend much more time on the investigation than on the actual writing.

Plan your story into narrative chunks.

Also plan how you use your time
  • for research
  • for writing
  • for editing your text
  • for checking facts
  • and for delivering the final story.

Finding the fourth highest mountain in Tanzania

Hello again since some time of silence, which is due to very hectic days at the training and an annoyingly slow internet connection at the hotel where I’m staying.

Here’s now a short summary of the third training day, that we spent mostly on research assignments starting from simple and moving on to more complicated ones.

It was still relatively easy to find out the population of Iringa – after acknowledging that what I meant was Iringa town, instead of Iringa region. Finding this season’s top goal scorer of the UEFA Champions League was a bit more difficult, as the actual group stage is about to begin only next week, but the best scorer from the qualification matches (Andreas Cornelius, FC Copenhagen) was finally found on the UEFA website itself.

Probably the most challenging task so far was to find the height of the fourth highest mountain in Tanzania as the existing web resources about Tanzanian mountain peaks give contradicting results and no one in the class, including myself, had ever heard about Mount Loolmalassin, which seems to be the third highest mountain after Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru. Eventually, we agreed that Mt Hanang must be the fourth highest mountain (3,420 metres), which was at least confirmed by a Wikipedia article.

Meanwhile, the participants have also published postings and feedbacks on some of the main issues covered on Day 2.

Here’s a nice summary by Neema Rugemalira especially about the search tips discussed in class. Some of the search tips were also mentioned by Sakina Faru and Catherine Kemikimba.

Pascal Shao claims that “for the journalism lecturers, the training has been quite resourceful and they are now able to do research through the internet systematically. Above all, I believe the training helps the lecturers to assist their students to plan their literature searching and writing as academicians taking into account verifying information and avoiding plagiarism.”

We were also working on our blogs, going through different design options and how to add links to the texts. For more about the blogging sessions, see the postings by Frank Katabi, Harrison Kisaka, Joseph Mtatiro and Nuru Shao.

I also recommend visiting the beautiful blog that Ridhwan Msisiri has created with birthday photos about his sweet daughters.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

What are Tanzanians surfing for on the web?

It is late lunch hour at our training, and I have little time to make a posting about what we did yesterday and what were the reflections of the participating journalism lecturers.

For some full and fluent summaries of the programme and proceedings of the first training, I recommend the blog postings by Getrude John, Pascal Shao and Abishagi Bhoke Christopher.

They all highlight the exercise of creating blogs and also the statistics of internet usage both globally and locally in Tanzania.

One big surprise to many was that the entertainment blog by radio DJ Millard Ayo was the single most visited media website in Tanzania (5th most visited of all websites), a long way ahead of the first mainstream media on the list, which was the Mwananchi newspaper’s online site (30th most visited website in the country).

Here are Harrison Kisaka’s comments on the statistics and also about the opening of the blogs.

Neema Rugemalira went one step ahead to compare the internet usage statistics in Tanzania with neighbouring Kenya, where they have two mainstream newspapers in the top five.

Catherine Kemikimba writes that the lecturers need to update themselves, “as we are in a higher learning institution where our students need internet education on how to search for materials for their excellence.”

Leopold Katubayemwo and Joanita Rwezahula also mention in their postings that they enjoyed the participatory approach of the training as the participants were engaged in open discussions leading to different views about each topic.

For photos already posted, see the blogs of Nuru Chuo and Joseph Mtatiro.

You can also find all other entries by using the links now updated on the right.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

First introductions with wide expectations

The participants have published their first introductory postings to their blogs, explaining who they are, what they do and teach at SAUT journalism department, and what they expect from this training.

Neema Rugemalira teaches feature writing and editing. She says that she expects to learn how to effectively make use of the internet especially for her features writing course, and also to publish articles online.

Abishagi Bhoke Christopher teaches writing for electronic media. She expects to learn how to find authentic information for her lectures and research and also how to publish and share information online.

Janeth Mushi, lecturer of print media writing and editing, says that she expects to learn more on how to search for information in the internet.

Aneth Nkeni teaches public relations and expects to learn how to guide her students with their assignments online.

Getrude John says that she expects to find more academic journal articles for her current and future research.

Leopold Katubayemwo, head of the journalism department, says that he expects to learn how to create a blog, how to search material from the internet, and how use the internet for social activism.

For some photos from the first day, see the blog posting by Nuru Chuo.

Training with a beautiful view over Lake Victoria

This is my first posting from an internet training with local journalism lecturers at St. Augustine University of Tanzania, or shortly SAUT, a highly regarded Catholic church-based academic institution located at Nyegezi in the outskirts of Mwanza town. We’re on the fourth floor of the library building in an old style ICT class with windows open and a beautiful scenery over some rocky hills and Lake Victoria, the second biggest freshwater basin in the world.

This intensive training is part of a wider internet training programme for Tanzanian journalists and journalism lecturers co-arranged by MISA Tanzania and Vikes – Finnish Foundation for Media and Development, a solidarity organization of the Union of Journalists in Finland and other Finnish journalist associations, with support from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

The training is the third internet training arranged specifically for journalism lecturers in Tanzania and already, believe it or not, the 46th internet training course arranged within the training programme, which has been running since 2008.

Other previous internet courses have focused on editors from national mainstream media as well as radio producers, local reporters and also journalism lecturers in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mbeya, Mwanza and Zanzibar.

During the last six years, separate Swahili-language training courses have also been arranged for local reporters and regional correspondents in 18 locations around the country, namely Babati, Bukoba, Dodoma, Geita, Iringa, Kigoma, Mbeya, Morogoro, Moshi, Mtwara, Musoma, Mwanza, Njombe, Pemba, Shinyanga, Songea, Sumbawanga and Tanga. These trainings have been conducted by a group of dedicated Tanzanian trainers, who have been trained specifically for that purpose as part of this same programme.

Now, at this internet journalism training at SAUT, there are 16 lecturers from the local journalism department, currently teaching courses ranging from basic news reporting to feature writing, broadcast journalism, public relations, interpersonal communication, social ethics, and environmental journalism, among others.

The day has started well with plenty of time spent for introductions and listing of expectations. More about the proceedings of the first training day later.